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"Tribal People: The Dilemma of Change" Anthropologists Speak in James D. Ewing Lecture at Keene State

KEENE, N.H. 3/4/05 - As countries become more aggressive in economic development, threats to the survival of the indigenous peoples of the world increase, according to Kirk Endicott, professor of anthropology at Dartmouth College, and his colleague Robert Welsch, a visiting professor in anthropology at Dartmouth.

Endicott and Welsch, co-editors of the anthropology reader Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Anthropology, will speak at Keene State College’s third annual James D. Ewing World Affairs Lecture. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held on Wednesday, March 23, at 7:30 p.m. in the Mabel Brown Room of the Student Center at Keene State.

In their address, “Tribal People: The Dilemma of Change,” Endicott and Welsch will discuss the rights of indigenous people whose lives are disrupted by economic development and nation building. They will present case studies from around the world, looking in particular at issues of assimilation and the retention of cultural identity.

The James D. Ewing World Affairs Lecture Endowment is named in memory of James Ewing, who was the owner and publisher of The Keene Sentinel from 1954 to 1993. The Endowment was established to bring speakers to Keene State College and the Keene community to address current public or world affairs issues.

Endicott has a long-standing interest in indigenous peoples. At graduate school at the University of Oxford, he studied the Orang Asli, the aboriginal peoples of Peninsular Malaysia. Later, he focused his fieldwork on a then- unstudied group of Malaysian hunter-gatherers, the Batek, concentrating on documenting their economy, social organization, and religion. Endicott has devoted much of his time to raising awareness of the plight of the Orang Asli as they are displaced from their homelands by Malaysian government development programs. Endicott has taught anthropology at California State University at Northridge, the University of Malaya, Cornell University, the Australian National University, and Dartmouth College, where he has been a professor of anthropology since 1993.

Welsch, adjunct curator of anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago, has conducted more than five years of field research in Papua New Guinea, with two years in Indonesia since 1977. He trained as a medical anthropologist, studying how people in New Guinea have made use of modern medicine. Among his many research projects in New Guinea and Indonesia, Welsch has studied medical anthropology in Java and cultural variation in Sulawesi, where he spent a year interviewing people in several dozen villages. Welsch is the author or editor of seven books and many articles, has been affiliated with the Field Museum since 1984, and has worked at Dartmouth since 1994.

For more information, contact Irene Herold, director of Mason Library, at 603-358-2736.

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